My Dad Says You're An Asshole!
“My dad says you’re an asshole!” Yup, I did say that, but I didn’t think anyone was listening. I certainly didn’t think anyone would repeat it. But that’s what happened the day of my son’s kindergarten graduation.
First off let me just say something about kindergarten graduations. I know it’s in vogue to trash ceremonies that celebrate mediocrity and striving for less. In essence, kindergarten graduation is nothing more than a celebration of moving past the second lowest rung on the education ladder. That said, my son’s kindergarten experience was at times a war filled with angst, alienation and heartbreak. So to me, his survival was worthy of the finest of celebrations.
I’ve long ago realized anything more than a healthy dose of cynicism will turn your body’s water molecules into sludge. So rather than question the validity of celebrating yet another over rated pop singer’s Grammy, or a football team I have no connection to winning the Super Bowl, I just sit back and crack open a cold one. Life is too short not to celebrate all it has to offer.
One battle my son waged all year was a friend who played him like a bi-polar accordionist. At times the music was sweet, like the kind you might be serenaded with at a French or Italian restaurant. At other times the music was dissonant carnival music, egging on the circus clowns and burlesque stooges to finally get their revenge.
All my son wanted was this kid to like him and he would have done almost anything to make that happen. And this asshole of a friend knew it, and made my son do parlor tricks for his friendship. “If you don’t do this, I won’t be your friend anymore” he used to tell my son. “If you do that, I’ll be your best friend” he’d tease him with.
It killed me to watch my son work so hard for this kid’s approval, when I knew he’d never be my son’s best friend. After watching my son’s heart get broken every other day, I finally told that to him, along with the now infamous “that kid’s and asshole.”
We were on my bike pedaling into town and then down to the beach. My son was sitting in a bike seat mounted to the handle bars of my bicycle. Having him in front of me and just under my chin was so much cooler than having him sit in a seat behind me. For one thing we could talk and sing and brainstorm together. And for another, from back there all he would be able to see is the crack of my ass hanging out of my pants, and all the really cool action after it’s passed us by.